The great Nora Ephron once said, “Above all, be the heroine of your life, not the victim.” A career spent penning the greatest rom-coms to ever grace the screen, and yet I always found this to be the most romantic thing she ever wrote. Why? Because it’s a brazen and unapologetic reminder of the power that comes from loving yourself – a beautiful act of defiance in a world that for so long told us not to.
Times, though, they are a-changing. In this issue, we shine a light on how we, as women, have been reclaiming how to be kinder to ourselves, but more importantly, how we can continue to do so to effect real and lasting change. Through our own radical acts of self-love – and universal love – we have demanded a more diverse, more inclusive, more equal, more sustainable world, and found ourselves with a more beautiful one because of it. The frank and indomitable trio in Every Body Belongs, are testament to that; ushering the body-positivity movement into its crucial new chapter. Everyday heroines, in my eyes.
Meanwhile, our incredible cover star Halima Aden’s journey from refugee camp to runway is the very embodiment of hope: “When you open your heart to the world, you’re confronted with a hug,” she tells me in The Homecoming, where we take the hijabi model and UNICEF ambassador back to shoot her first-ever ready-to-wear editorial in the country she was born – Kenya.
Speaking of motherlands, in Signed, Sealed, Delivered, we ask four formidable Arab women to pour their hearts out in love letters of a different kind; ones to the cities that made them who they are today.
Finally, in celebration of the imminent Harper’s Bazaar retrospective at the Musée des Arts Décoratifs in Paris, we have recreated one of Richard Avedon’s most iconic fashion stories from February 1955 – first published 65 years ago this month.
Love, as you can see, is the common thread, with this issue mirroring only a handful of its changing faces; its beauty, its optimism, its power, its resilience. But above all else, in 2020, its momentous, unwavering importance. In an uncertain and often tumultuous time, love, more than ever, is the answer. How you define it is up to you.
Blazer, Dhs10,725, Bottega Veneta at Matches Fashion
Sunglasses, Dhs1,030, Gentle Monster
Boots, Paris Texas at Harvey Nichols
Signet Ring, Dhs3,012, Arkay Jewellery
Shearling Coat, Dhs6,500, Saks Potts at Selfridges
Basket Bag, Dhs1,560, Vanina at Net-a-Porter
From Olivia's Desk
Making me smile this month are snaps from our cover shoot in Kenya, perfume you can scribble courtesy of Chanel, LV's envy-inducing earbuds and a book I insist you read...
The Comparison Cure by Lucy Sheridan, Dhs47
Chance Perfume Crayons, Dhs380 for the set, Chanel
Halima Aden and I on location in Kenya
Earbuds, Dhs4,200, Louis Vuitton
Behind the scenes of our February 2020 cover shoot
Photogaphy: Eva Kruper